Mick Mars, Hollywood, CA on March 20, 2012
|Birth name||Robert Alan Deal|
May 4, 1951 |
Huntington, Indiana United States
|Genres||Heavy metal, hard rock, glam metal, blues|
|Instruments||Guitar, bass, mandolin, sitar|
|Labels||Mötley, Eleven Seven Music, Elektra, Leathür, Warner Music Group|
|Associated acts||Mötley Crüe|
After his family relocated from Indiana to California, Robert Deal dropped out of high school and began playing guitar in a series of unsuccessful blues based rock bands throughout the seventies, taking on menial day jobs to make ends meet. After nearly a decade of frustration with the California music scene, Deal reinvented himself, changing his stage name to Mick Mars and dyeing his hair jet black, hoping for a fresh start. In April 1980 he put a want ad in the Los Angeles The Recycler newspaper, describing himself as "a loud, rude and aggressive guitar player". Nikki Sixx and Tommy Lee contacted him and after hearing him play decided he would be their guitarist. Upon Tommy's prodding, they persuaded a former high school friend of Tommy's and local rock and roll singer/frontman, Vince Neil, to join. It was Mick's suggestion that the band be called Mötley Crüe, a name that had stuck in his head from his days as a member of a band called White Horse. One of the band managers walked into the room and said "... Well isn't this a motley-looking crew."
Mars often uses a metal slide in his soloing and takes on both the rhythm and lead guitar duties of the band. In the studio and live, Mars frequently tunes his guitar down a whole step to get a stronger and crunchier rhythm sound. The altered tuning also increases string slack to enable his characteristic hammer-on trills, pitch bending, and pinch harmonics during soloing. He also introduced the pedal steel guitar to many of Mötley Crüe's later recordings and live sets. Mars has taken a critical role in songwriting for the band, coming up with many of Mötley Crüe's best known riffs.
For the sum of his career with Mötley Crüe, Mars has created the aura of a mysterious figure, usually letting the other members of the band speak for him. In the rather rare public interviews he has given, Mars often comes off as a very reserved and quiet individual, though not exactly shy. A home video made in 1984 and posted publicly on the web by one of his former White Horse bandmates reveals Mars to be a rather jovial, wisecracking, down-to-earth person.
After an occasional split of Mötley Crüe in 2001, Mars dealt with worsening health problems and depression, and reportedly gave up guitar playing. Mars' situation improved with the reformation of Mötley Crüe, kindling the desire to play again. Mars underwent hip replacement surgery in the autumn of 2004, followed with intensive physical therapy. Despite his precarious health condition, he was able to perform in the Carnival of Sins tour in 2005 and the Route of All Evil Tour with Aerosmith in 2006.
Mars has recently contributed his songwriting skills to John LeCompt, the former member of Evanescence and the other band members of Machina, and to the Swedish band CRASHDÏET. Their second album entitled, The Unattractive Revolution, was released on October 3, 2007 and featured two songs co-written by Mars.
Mars played lead guitar on the title track of Hinder's 2008 album Take It to the Limit, and contributed a guitar solo to the song "Into the Light" by Papa Roach, on their 2009 album Metamorphosis. Mars also contributed a guitar solo to the song "The Question" on Rock Star: Supernova runner-up Dilana's U.S. debut album Inside Out. In 2010 he co-wrote a song with Escape the Fate for their self-titled album which was instead withheld from the album and reserved for a later release.
He has recently been photographed, on his MySpace, with the Murderdolls as he will contribute to their upcoming album Women & Children Last whilst recording material for his debut solo album in the same space.
For most of his professional career, Mars has openly struggled with ankylosing spondylitis, a chronic, inflammatory form of arthritis that mainly affects the spine and pelvis. It was initially diagnosed when he was 17 years old, and has increasingly impaired his movement and has caused him a great deal of pain. This led to hip-replacement surgery at the end of 2004.
Over the years, the illness has caused his lower spine to seize up and freeze completely solid, "...causing scoliosis in [his] back and squashing [him] further down and forward until [he] was a full three inches shorter than [he] was in high school."
On May 4, 2013 - Mars' 62nd birthday, Mötley Crüe was playing a show at the Spectra Place in Estevan, Saskatchewan, Canada. The band has just finished the song "Primal Scream" when a male audience member bolted across the stage going after singer Vince Neil, knocking Mars to the stage in the process. The man was tackled by band security and Mars, visibly shaken, was helped off the stage. The band took a short break and Mars was able to recover and come back to complete the performance. Mars would later post on Twitter, "Thank all of you for your concerns about me being knocked down last night... I'm alright... nothing broken. My body guard Rhyno got 2 busted ribs."
Mars is the second of five children of Tina and Frank Deal, and is the older brother of Susie Deal. With his first wife, Sharon, he has two children, Les Paul (1971) and Stormy (1973). He also has a son, Erik (b. 1976), with former longtime girlfriend, Marcia. Mars was married to Emi Canyn, who was a Mötley Crüe back-up singer on the "Girls, Girls, Girls" (1987) and "Nasty Habits" tours (1990–1994). Mars and Fai McNasty (Seraina Shönenberger) have been in a relationship since 2007. Fai also plays guitar and is a photographer.
- Gibson Les Paul Customs for Too Fast For Love Shows 1980-1982.
- Gibson Les Paul Custom, B.C. Rich Warlock, Hamer Blitz, Gibson Flying V and Guild Flying Star during the Shout At The Devil tour 1983-1984.
- Kramer Explorers, Kramer Barettas and Kramer Pacers during the Theatre Of Pain tour 1985-1986.
- Kramer Custom Shop Telecasters during the Girls Girls Girls tour 1987-1988.
- Kramer Custom Shop "mirror top" Telecasters and a variety of Barettas and custom shop Kramers during the Dr. Feelgood tour 1989-1990. (Fender Stratocaster in Don't Go Away Mad video.)
- Fender Stratocasters and Telecaster, Gibson Les Pauls, Charvel Super Strat and Paul Reed Smiths during the Decade of Decadance Shows 1991 - 1993.
- Fender Stratocasters and A Jackson Soloist during the Mötley Crüe tour 1994-1995.
- Gibson Les Pauls (Sometimes with Floyd Rose bridges), Gibson Chet Atkins SST 12-String and Fender Stratocasters as main stage guitars for Generation Swine shows 1996-1997, Greatest Hits support shows 1998-1999, New Tattoo tour 2000-2001, Carnival of Sins Tour/Route of all Evil Tour 2005-2006.
Guitar Rig & Signal Flow
A detailed gear diagram of Mick Mars 1995 Mötley Crüe guitar rig is well-documented.
- Linden, Eric. "Mick Mars Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 2011-06-11.
- Rosen, Steven (September 6, 2008). "Motley Crue's Mick Mars: 'I've Always Been About Melody And Tone'". Ultimate Guitar Archive. Retrieved 2011-06-11.
- Machina Collaboration with Mick Mars on YouTube
- "The Official Web Site". Crash Diet. Retrieved 2012-07-04.
- Dilana: The Reality Rocks Interview Part 2, which was also released in 2009.
- "MÖTLEY CRÜE Guitarist To Guest On New MURDERDOLLS Album". Blabbermouth. Apr. 4, 2010.
- "Photo: Murderdolls and Motley Crue's Mick Mars in The Studio". Roadrunner. Apr. 6, 2010.
- Lee, Tommy; Strauss, Neil; Vince Neil, Mick Mars, Nikki Sixx (2002) . The Dirt: Confessions of the World's Most Notorious Rock Band (reprint, illustrated ed.). HarperCollins. p. 448. ISBN 0-06-098915-7. OCLC 212381899. Retrieved December 18, 2011. Unknown parameter
- Rashbaum, A (2004-10-06). "Motley Crue Guitarist Undergoes Surgery". mtv.com. Retrieved 2008-08-07.
- The Dirt: Confessions of the World's Most Notorious Rock Band, page 187
- Cooper, Adam (1999). "Mick Mars 1995 Motley Crue Guitar Rig". GuitarGeek.Com
- Mick Mars official site
- Mötley Crüe videos
- Mötley Crüe official site
- Mick Mars at the Internet Movie Database